William and Mary Law School

Order of the Coif

The Order of the Coif is a national scholastic honor society in law. Its purpose is "to foster a spirit of careful study and to mark in a fitting manner those who have attained a high grade of scholarship" in the study of law. The English Order of the Coif was the most ancient and one of the most honored institutions of the common law. Its origins possibly antedated the Norman Conquest. The American Order of the Coif was founded in 1912. Membership in the Order of the Coif is the highest accolade a law student may achieve, it is equivalent to membership in Phi Beta Kappa for undergraduates.  Order of the Coif recognizes the scholastic achievement of students selected from the exact top ten percent of their class upon graduation.  Only those students who earn 75% of their required credits for graduation through William & Mary Law School graded credits are eligible for induction to the William & Mary Chapter of Order of the Coif.  Consequently, transfer students are rarely eligible for induction.